President Obama's expected visit tomorrow to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero "rings hollow" because of the continued operation of the U.S. military school that allegedly trained the slain archbishop's killers, says one human rights group.
SOA Watch, the organization founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, made the statement in a press release this morning, referring to operations at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas and located at Fort Benning, Ga.
“While we welcome President Obama’s interest in visiting Romero’s tomb, a more fitting tribute to Romero’s legacy would be the closure of the school that trained his murder[ers],” SOA Watch Latin American spokesperson Lisa Sullivan said in the statement.
Obama is making the stop to Romero's grave tomorrow as part of the Salvadoran stop of his Latin American tour this week.
A 1993 report by the U.N.-mandated Truth Commission for El Salvador specifically named Alvaro Saravia, Eduardo Avila, Roberto D'Aubuisson, and Fernando (El Negro) Sagrera as responsible for the 1980 murder of the archbishop while he was celebrating Mass.
The SOA Watch Web site lists Avila and D'Aubuisson as graduates of the U.S. military training school.